The KIngdom of God: Fun, Improv and Flash Mobs

Andrew Sullivan pointed to Volkswagen's Fun Theory project, where they use fun to make the world a better place.

Here's the clip showing how they get people to use the stairs:

Two more experiments where you can see how they get people to recycle and throw away litter.

At church on Wednesday, Dwayne pointed me to the group Improv Everywhere. This group does dramatic group experiments in public places. Here are two samples of their work:

Finally, awhile back, Tyler Priest passed on Peter Rollins' comment that the Kingdom of God might be like a flash mob. A flash mob as Tyler describes it:

A flash mob is the result of social networking via technologies like cell-phone text messaging, viral email, Facebook, etc. Essentially, a flash mob leader will typically choose a crowded public space (think city center, campus commons, massive train station, shopping mall (ick), etcetera). The flash mob leader or mob network will communicate a detailed plan to a critical mass, including a designated meeting space at a designated time, with specific instructions, such as, “Bring a pillow for a massive fight in the City Center,” or “Bring an umbrella to the center of campus and we’ll form a massive canopy under which we will sing children’s songs.” Then, as if the event had never happened, participants will nonchalantly walk away and fade back into the street crowd and go their separate ways.
Here's the example Tyler posted:

Many more examples of flash mobs can be found on YouTube.

Here's why I'm pointing you to all this stuff:

Christian worship has always had a dramatic element to it. From the smells and costumes of high liturgy to the multimedia extravaganza of mega-churches. But by and large these dramatic presentations and rituals are for the church. But I wonder, as I think about the Fun Theory experiments, Improv Everywhere and flash mobs, what it would be like if the church started taking its flair for the dramatic into the world. Perform for the world and in the world. And not just perform. Invite into a life, a new way of being, a new community. More, move into the world, as the Fun Theory does, to make the world a better place, to nudge people into joy and goodness. What would church be like if worship planning committees sat around thinking this: "What can we do for the world and in the world that can invite people into the joy and goodness of God?"

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One thought on “The KIngdom of God: Fun, Improv and Flash Mobs”

  1. Don't tell me you think church can be fun!! What a thought!
    Thanks for some great links. I enjoyed watching the people on the escalator quickly warming up and smiling as the action started. I think most of us would rather have a good time than not, but often the systems of life hinder us.
    It's time to break out and have some fun!

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